Astonomers have come up with an estimate of how many earth-like planets there are in our galaxy: some 40 billion. Wow.
The known odds of something — or someone — living far, far away from Earth improved beyond astronomers’ boldest dreams on Monday.
Astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion habitable Earth-size planets in the galaxy, based on a new analysis of data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.
One out of every five sunlike stars in the galaxy has a planet the size of Earth circling it in the Goldilocks zone — not too hot, not too cold — where surface temperatures should be compatible with liquid water, according to a herculean three-year calculation based on data from the Kepler spacecraft by Erik Petigura, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley.
So it sure seems like life must be common in the cosmos.
After all, the Milky Way galaxy is only one of at least a hundred billion galaxies in the universe. Multiply billions of habitable planets in each galaxy by those billions of galaxies and you've got a really large number.
It's difficult to imagine what communicating with members of an alien civilization would be like.
Difficult, at best. Maybe impossible. Science fiction books and movies tend to assume that alien consciousness is close enough to ours to allow for mutual understanding (or, of course, misunderstanding; but at least some sort of communication).
If we humans and inhabitants of another planet far, far away have anything in common, likely it would be scientific knowledge.
The laws of nature appear to be the same throughout the universe. The Homo sapiens brain undoubtedly has its own unique way of comprehending and describing these laws. However, almost certainly we and aliens would have learned similar facts about gravity, electromagnetism, chemical reactions, and such.
Their way of practicing chemistry/physics/biology and ours might be very different from ours. Yet the substance of the truths revealed by scientific endeavors separated by many light years probably would be quite similar.
Way more similar than religious beliefs -- assuming other life forms even subscribe to such superstitions. The probability of an alien civilization having anything akin to Christianity, Islam, HInduism, or whatever seems exceedingly low.
Demonstrable evidence of any supernatural side to the cosmos is very minimal, if not nonexistent.
Thus human religions almost certainly are cultural creations. What are the odds of aliens not only having a brain/mind that functions similarly to ours, but also a culture that supports the sort of religiosity prevalent her on Earth?
Could Jesus have died on the cross to redeem sinners in any other of those 40 billion habitable planets? I doubt it. Ditto with the fables/myths of other religions. If religiosity exists elsewhere in the galaxy, I suspect the forms it takes would be unrecognizable to us.
Whereas the science of alien beings probably wouldn't be. Food for thought, for truth-seekers.